Famous Class Action Lawsuits: Spotlight on Fen-Phen
In 1999, the American Home Products Corporation agreed to a $3.75 billion settlement of a class-action lawsuit engineered by patients who experienced heart defects after taking the company’s Fen-Phen diet pill combination. The class-action settlement still represents one of the largest monetary rewards for a product liability case in history — over 11,000 plaintiffs filed 6,500 separate lawsuits, but the settlement involved all of the six million users of the Fen-Phen combination.
Fen-Phen was considered a miracle diet pill, and many users took it to lose weight without dieting or exercising unnecessarily. The medication combined Pondimin and Redux, both of which suppressed patients’ appetites, with phentermine, which has been found to increase the rate at which the body burns calories. Prescriptions numbered in the millions in the mid-1990s, but by 1997, the Food and Drug Administration removed the drug from the market after finding that it caused heart defects and, in some cases, rare lung diseases.
Lawyers on both sides were generally pleased with the settlement agreement — lawyers for the plaintiffs were able to force the company to pay each user of the drug some prescription costs, whereas lawyers for the defendant were able to avoid the massive $10 billion settlement that some legal analysts had predicted. People who were exposed to heart defects received up to $1.5 million from American Home Products, an amount targeted to pay medical bills and attorney fees. The case is considered a benchmark in collaborative efforts by plaintiffs and an excellent example of how to conduct a consumer and medical products class action lawsuit.
Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore, Florida class action lawsuit attorneys, recognizes the importance of an individual’s right to health and the value of truth in advertising. The firm specializes in class action lawsuits of all different varieties and has won settlements in various cases. Any client looking for a Tampa class action lawyer is invited to seriously consider meeting with the knowledgeable and passionate team at Wagner, McLaughlin & Whittemore. Call today to set up a free consultation with a practiced firm with a history of important class action victories.